If you wanted to “pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time,” you might go for a walk around the nearest park, buy yourself a takeaway ice cream or, if you are Kim Kardashian-West, ask your “closest inner circle” to quarantine for two weeks in order to attend your birthday party at a secret location on a private island.

The reality TV superstar shared the details of her 40th birthday celebration at an undisclosed location with her 67.1 million followers – along with photographs from the event.

“After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time,” she wrote on Twitter.

“We danced, rode bikes, swam near whales, kayaked, watched a movie on the beach and so much more. I realize that for most people, this is something that is so far out of reach right now, so in moments like these, I am humbly reminded of how privileged my life is.”

Kim Kardashian West
(@KimKardashian)

We danced, rode bikes, swam near whales, kayaked, watched a movie on the beach and so much more. I realize that for most people, this is something that is so far out of reach right now, so in moments like these, I am humbly reminded of how privileged my life is. #thisis40 pic.twitter.com/UYOcVBpytW


October 27, 2020

The post provoked questions as to how it was possible that the trip was a surprise, given that people had been asked to quarantine.

Washington Post TikTok Guy ?
(@davejorgenson)

I love the idea that Kim Kardashian’s closest friends quarantined for two weeks and THEN were surprised.


October 27, 2020

As well as questions, the post was met with incredulity.

Veteran British musician Peter Frampton replied saying: “Are you that insensitive you don’t realise this is not what the majority of people during the worst covid spike yet want to hear? People are going to food banks not private islands.”

The post quickly became a meme, with people sharing photographs of their own, more menacing “private islands”.

There were references to the film Parasite – a sinister commentary on economic inequality – to Game of Thrones’ bloodbath episode The Red Wedding, and to Midsommar, a film about a cult.

Ken Klippenstein
(@kenklippenstein)

After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time. pic.twitter.com/HcNrQr6NYl


October 27, 2020

sophie thompson
(@sophxthompson)

After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time pic.twitter.com/aaUZKhmqFC


October 27, 2020

rabia O’chaudry
(@rabiasquared)

After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time. pic.twitter.com/GE9CE4ptfu


October 27, 2020

The governor of New Jersey escaped to upstate New York with Tony Soprano, his wife Carmela, his sister Janice and his colleague Bobby Baccalieri.

New Jersey
(@NJGov)

After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time. pic.twitter.com/27WFsdkaVx


October 28, 2020

For journalist Ronan Farrow, the birthday celebrations evoked Hieronymus Bosch and a pig dressed as a nun:

Ronan Farrow
(@RonanFarrow)

After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time. pic.twitter.com/iIM232lhnI


October 28, 2020

The Museum of Modern Art had a more whimsical take:

MoMA The Museum of Modern Art
(@MuseumModernArt)

After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time. pic.twitter.com/FRLaCSe11J


October 27, 2020

New Zealand’s privacy commissioner even got in on the action.

John Edwards
(@JCE_PC)

After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time. pic.twitter.com/inGM42KV6j


October 27, 2020





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